The Sportsman Shop is a small town business that has been open since 1954. The type of business that America should be proud of. Now Facebook removes the small business’s ads for American flags. Why? Because their page promotes the sale of guns.
The Sportsman Shop is located in East Earl, PA. They sell products in sport shooting, hunting, archery, fishing and other similar open-air activities. Similar to many other businesses, they rely on digital advertising, particularly on Facebook. For quite a while they were able to use the full range of services in Facebook’s marketing platform. Then one day an ad promoting American flags was taken down.
Jessica Keffer, the marketing manager at the Sportsman’s Shop, reached out to Facebook as she was confused as to why the ad was taken down.
“Facebook is a great tool. We have found it widely successful with our customers,” Keffer told The Daily Caller, adding that’s why she was so anxious to find out what had happened.
After some back and forth exchanges with Facebook that resulted in nothing, Keffer realized that now all of her Facebook paid marketing abilities had been taken away.
“Ads must not promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition, or explosives,” it clearly states.
Per Daily Caller:
Enumerated examples of what’s acceptable include: language like “Gun exposition today!” or “blogs or groups connecting people with weapon-related interests, as long as the service doesn’t lead to the sale of these products.”
Posts with captions “Cheap firearms: Buy now!” and “weapons of any kind, including pepper spray, knives, tasers, or weapons intended for self-defense,” aren’t allowed, according to Facebook’s rules.
But the American flag sale promotion, which was purposefully removed, didn’t contain any such content; it’s a benign ad for a benign, patriotic product. And why would one post cost the shop all of its Facebook-granted ad functions?
Keffer said she was told it’s due to their Facebook page, which also incorporated a link to their own website, not the particular American flag advertisement.
TheDCNF corresponded with representatives at Facebook, who among other details, highlighted their “Ad Review Process.”
“During the ad review process, we’ll check your ad’s images, text, targeting, and positioning, in addition to the content on your ad’s landing page,” the subsection “What We Consider” reads. “Your ad may not be approved if the landing page content isn’t fully functional, doesn’t match the product/service promoted in your ad or doesn’t fully comply with our Advertising Policies.”
So Facebook investigates not only the Facebook page where the ad is, but also the entire website the ads are pointing to.
“We are very frustrated with Facebook’s ad policies,” said Keffer. “Like any business, we want to grow our reach and attract new customers and when you are restricted from promoting your product on a very visible platform it is a huge disservice. Advertising is crucial to any business. Reaching new customers and attracting new clients is imperative to our success.”
As usual, Facebook is looking to push their liberal agenda. Unfortunately this pro-gun, pro-American business is taking a beating as a result.